Misinformation about Monkeypox


1. No, AstraZeneca and J+J do not inject the genome of a chimpanzee into your cells.


2. No, Monkeypox is not a gay disease

By guest contributors Boghuma K. Titanji MD PhD, Keletso Makofane, PhD and @neurofourier

In recent weeks multiple cases of confirmed and suspected monkeypox infections have been reported in three European countries. The initial cluster of cases which first appeared in the United Kingdom so far includes four men who identify as gay or bisexual or other men who have sex with men (MSM). The narrative emerging as this outbreak evolves to involve other European countries, Canada and the United States is sadly reminiscent of initial reporting on pneumocystis pneumonia clusters in gay men with AIDS forty years ago. Monkeypox is not a gay disease and neither are any other infectious diseases. It is unfortunate that this still needs to be said, highlighting how little we have learned from previous outbreaks.

Stigma directed at a particular group of individuals fuels fear and seriously impedes upon outbreak investigation, case identification and public health interventions. The repercussions of labelling HIV infection a homosexual disease led to untold suffering in gay communities in the 1980s who were blamed for the epidemic. Cases were under-reported in the early days of the epidemic as individuals who contracted the virus went underground instead of seeking medical care. This resulted in many missed opportunities to quickly learn about the infection, understand its transmission and importantly, provide targeted public health interventions to curb its spread. Instead, individuals in the group most affected at the time were blamed for their own suffering and ostracized as purveyors of disease.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s